Do you have a child’s birthday coming up this spring or summer? If so, you might want to consider throwing an eco-friendly birthday party. Many children’s parties come with a lot of waste, from disposable cutlery, dishes and decorations, to goodie bag items that often break on the car ride home. What are your alternatives, though, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money and ruin the fun? We have four tips for an eco-friendly birthday party that everyone will enjoy, and that won’t cost the earth.
Four Tips for an Eco-Friendly Birthday Party
1. Consider the Cutlery and Dishes
The most earth-friendly choice when it comes to dishes and cutlery is to use your own and wash them. If throwing a party and cleaning up sounds like too much work, you can try delegating. A friend or family member may be only too happy to help. Some party companies rent dishes and handle the clean-up, which is a little more expensive, but saves you the hassle. Finally, if you are opting for disposable dishes and cutlery, go with compostable materials. Paper or palm leaf plates, compostable cups and wooden cutlery will turn to dirt in the compost, while plastics will hang around almost forever.
2. Skip the Plastic Decorations
You can buy some amazingly beautiful reusable party decorations like fabric birthday banners and felt flowers. If you’re feeling creative you can also make your own decorations – older children will love artfully arranging a space for the party. You can even create decorations as part of the party itself – a large piece of paper taped up on a wall is a great canvas for kids to draw and paint on. While reusable decorations can seem expensive at first they can last for years, and even decades, so in the long run they’re much cheaper. Pulling them out each year will also become one of your family’s eco-friendly birthday party traditions, which your kids will really enjoy.
3. Put the Cloth in Tablecloth
One of the easiest ways to go reusable at your eco-friendly birthday party is to opt for cloth tablecloths and napkins. A pile of cloth napkins can be used by your family year-round. They feel much nicer on your face, they last forever, and they’re much cheaper than paper in the long run. Throw in a cloth tablecloth, and when the party’s over you can roll the whole thing up and throw it in the washing machine. If you don’t have a cloth tablecloth, pretty sheets from the thrift store will fit the bill. Just wash them on hot before the big day and you’ll be good to go, for the same price as plastic.
4. Opt for a Goodie Bag Alternative
We’ve shared alternatives to the traditional goodie bag. At your eco-friendly birthday party, skip the cheap plastic toys and the copious amount of candy and opt for something else instead. Give a single, sustainable small toy or book to each child, make a craft during the party to send home with each child, or even send home a packet of seeds and a small pot. Some people even opt for gift cards in a small amount so that each party guest can find something for themselves.
There are lots of ways to reduce your environmental footprint while keeping the party fun. What are your favourite eco-friendly birthday party tips?